On Sunday morning, Complex’s YouTube show Hot Ones announced it will be officially announcing the MLB The Show 21 cover athlete, as well as the cover art on Monday, February 1. The announcement will also include a special Hot Ones episode featuring the cover athlete.
Sponsored by @MLBTheShow ⚾️💥
— Complex (@Complex) January 31, 2021
At this point, it’s all but imminent the cover athlete will be San Diego Padres superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
On Saturday, the internet ran rampant with leaks of the cover after GameStop presumably accidentally had the listing up on its website for a very short period. The listing included shots with both a PlayStation case, as well as an Xbox case. The latter would represent the first time The Show has been offered across multiple platforms. Of course, we knew this was coming at some point as Major League Baseball and Sony agreed to those terms when they re-upped their licensing agreement — we just did not know if it would happen in year one on the new consoles.
Looks like Fernando Tatis Jr. is the cover athlete for MLB The Show 21. (Coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S) – No release date yet. pic.twitter.com/jgKalQAx6c
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) January 31, 2021
Tatis Jr. makes sense in so many different ways. First, he’s one of the most marketable young players in Major League Baseball right now after putting up MVP-like numbers in an abbreviated 2020 campaign. He plays with a flair and excitement not so easily found across the league these days. Everything about his game drips marketability.
Tatis Jr. also resides in San Diego, obviously, the home of San Diego Studio. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Travel restrictions may have made it difficult for the company to gain access to other players around the league for marketing and promotional opportunities surrounding MLB The Show 21. Tatis Jr. solves that problem as he’s consistently in their backyard, available for more photos and get-togethers than other players may be.
It is unknown at this point whether or not San Diego Studio plans on releasing any more info on the game tomorrow besides the album artwork. Pre-order details, a release date, what platforms the game will officially be on, as well as an initial hype trailer, and even gameplay trailers are usually commonplace this time of year. We’ll have to wait and see how the studio staggers the release of information, and whether or not the release of the game itself is pushed back at all with the release of next-generation consoles and the aforementioned (apparent) cross-gen availability.